Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gloucester, MA
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Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit
Unless your radio in the cabin is accessible from the cockpit, I would leave the one in the cockpit. Maybe you can relocate it or go to something more low profile like a ram mic.
There are many situations where having the ability to speak to someone without going below is extremely helpful. For example, if you are sailing in fog, the last thing that you want to do is go down below. Basically, any tight quarters sailing/motoring is probably a situation where going below doesn't make sense. Also, can you hear the VHF down below if you are motoring?
From a strictly safety standpoint, unless you have an EPIRB, the best way to call for help is with your VHF. There are plenty of situations where the unit may still be working but you don't want to go down below including sinking, fire, etc. I have read more than one report where the conclusion was that a distress call could have been made if the radio could have been operated from on deck.
I don't know what type of sailing you do and if you stay very close to your home marina and are in protected waters without much fog, then using a handheld in the cockpit is probably acceptable but a fixed mount as well as the handheld is always better.